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February 6, 2018 Volume-X Issue-2


The first thing fans, players, coaches & parents want to know after the big game is always,

�Is this going to be on

?�

Shore Sports Network has established itself as a leader in scholastic sports coverage in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing more video highlight clips, in-depth reporting, feature stories and regular updates than ANY OTHER OUTLET in the area.

Shore Sports Network Website Features

n Get Video Highlights of all the important games that Shore Conference fans will be talking about. n Catch up on the action you might have missed n Watch video clips of everything from the action early in the event to the big finish as well as video interviews with various athletes. n www.shoresportsnetwork.com is the most visited sports site in the Shore Conference during the scholastic year n Follow us on Twitter (over 16,000 followers) & Facebook, we keep fans posted on the latest scores and news n Established leading portal for local high school coverage.

KevinWILLIAMS S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k Director k ev i n . w i l l i am s @ t ow n s qu a re m ed i a. c om

SteveMEYER Shore Sports Network Director High School Division s t ev e. m e y er @t own s qu a re m edi a. co m 7 3 2 - 2 3 3 - 4 4 6 0

Senior C ontent Providers Robert Badders - Managing Editor Bob.Badders@townsquaremedia.com MattManley // Mmanley21@gmail.com

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Copyright 2018 Townsquare Media All rights reserved Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of Shore Sports Network is prohibited

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Hackensack Meridian Health to Partner with Shore Sports Network By Kevin Williams - Shore Sports Network Director

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h e S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k i s h a ppy t o a n n o u n c e a pa r t ne r s h ip w i t h Ha ck en sa ck M erid ia n H ealt h wher eby New J er s e y ' s l a r g e s t , m o s t c o m pr e h en s iv e a n d i n t eg r a t ed h e a l t h n e t w o r k w il l s er ve a s i t s pr es en t in g s po n s o r fo r 2 0 18 . T h i s j o i n t eff o r t w il l fi nd H a c ken s a c k M er i d ia n H ea l t h b ec o m i ng a m a j o r pa r t o f ev e r y t h i n g t h a t f a l l s un d er t h e S h o r e S po r t s N et wo r k um b rel la , in cl udi ng t h e po pula r web si te s h o r e s po r t s n et w o r k. c o m , t h e S h o r e S po r t s N e t w o r k J o u r n a l , b r o a d c a s t a s s et s l i ke N ew Y o r k J et s fo o t b a l l a nd H ig h S c h o o l F o o t b a l l /B a s ke t b a l l a s wel l a s spec ia l even ts . Kevin Williams, Director of the Shore Sports Network said the partnership is a natural o n e a n d " a l l o w s u s t o b e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e s t a t e a n d r e g i o n ’s l e a d i n g h e a l t h c a r e provider and one with a strong footprint in Ocean and Monmouth counties." Hackensack Meridian Health has a combined organization of 16 hospitals, including three academic medical centers, two children's hospitals, nine community hospitals, two rehabilitation

hospitals, physician practices, more than 160 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers and urgent care facilities. Among those in the shore area are Jersey Shore University Medical Center and the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin. "Hackensack Meridian Health is excited to p a r t n e r w i t h To w n s q u a r e M e d i a ' s S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k , s a i d F a y e A r j o u m a n d i , M a n a g e r, Consumer Marketing at Hackensack Meridian Health "With more than 160 patient care locations throughout the state, whether it's treating minor injuries quickly at our urgent care f a c i l i t i e s o r m o r e s e r i o u s c a s e s i n t h e e m e r g e n cy departments at our hospitals, families can trust and depend on Hackensack Meridian Health to provide the exceptional care that athletes need." The Shore Sports Network will utilize doctors and other medical experts associated with Hackensack Meridian Health for their knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics that are of interest to athletes, coaches and parents including concussion prevention and treatment to the latest surgical procedures designed to get studentathletes back to optimum health as quickly as possible.

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Rumson, Roselle Catholic Roar Through Shore Challenge By

Matt Manley

- Senior Staff writer

Rum so n

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Grinds Past RBC Straight Win

Any number of plays down the stretch of the Rumson-Fair Haven boys basketball team's win over rival Red Bank Catholic Wednesday night at Collins Arena could have been considered the deciding one, but it was a pair of first-half baskets that set the tone for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore Phillip Wheeler jumped off the bench to throw down a momentumshifting dunk and senior Teddy Sourlis got going with a second-quarter three-pointer to spark Rumson's offense and the Bulldogs - ranked No. 3 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - brought home a 47-42 win over the No. 9 Caseys behind their customarily stingy defense.

Wheeler led Rumson with 11 points, five rebounds and two steals, while Sourlis went on to hit three three-pointers and finish with nine points. Junior Jackson McCarthy, meanwhile, posted 10 points and eight rebounds while spearheading the defensive effort on the perimeter to win the game MVP award for the Bulldogs.

"It's been a different dynamic this year and we're embracing it," Sourlis said. "Last year, it was me and Jack (Solano) raining from three and this year, it's been Elijah (McAllister) and Jackson banging inside with Wheels throwing down a couple dunks. It's really different for us because one game we could hit five threes in the first half and the next game, all of our scoring is on the inside. Tonight was kind of a nice mix for us."

During his first full varsity season, Wheeler has shown flashes of his immense potential and a number of those flashes lit up Collins Arena on Wednesday. The 6foot-7 swingman entered the game late in the first quarter and early in the second, he picked off a pass near midcourt and hammered through a one-handed dunk to tie the score at 10.

"Wheels off the bench is exactly what we needed," Rumson coach Chris Champeau said of Wheeler. "He's so long and aggressive and to me, sometimes he comes in the game and he's like a young colt. He'll make mistakes, but the positive things he brings can change games.

His other first-half basket was a rim-rocking two-handed slam that followed a missed dunk. Wheeler then showed off his range with a three-pointer in the second half and his footwork and handle with a Euro-step and finish in the fourth to put the Bulldogs ahead, 38-33.

"Once you step on the court, you have to have energy," Wheeler said. "If you don't have energy, nothing happens and you'll come out of the game, especially on this team."

Sourlis, meanwhile, is working his way out of a shooting slump that plagued him during the early part of the season. After leading the Shore Conference in threepointers as a junior last year, Sourlis started the season ice-cold from beyond the arc before picking up his shooting in recent games.

"I owe a lot to my teammates and coaches for believing in me," Sourlis said. "They tell me to keep shooting it and I think I did that pretty well today." On Wednesday, Sourlis hit a tie-breaking three in the second quarter, a go-ahead three in the third and another third-quarter three that gave Rumson a 27-23 lead.

"The most important thing to me and everyone else on this team is winning," Sourlis said. "We're 14-1 now - that's the most important thing."

While McCarthy was key defensive cog against RBC's long, versatile lineup, senior

Elijah McAllister was once again the defensive linchpin. The senior posted six points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, which is actually below his season average of more than six per game.

Red Bank Catholic center John Kelly also played a strong game in the middle for the Caseys, putting up 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in defeat. Sophomore Charlie Gordinier, meanwhile, scored a team-high 11 points and snagged the game MVP for the Caseys. One of the heroes for Rumson in that game was current senior Jack Solano, who has not played since Jan. 6 because of a broken orbital bone above his left eye.

Despite missing Solano's scoring and slashing, Rumson has not lost during his absence and is looking forward to welcoming him back into a balanced lineup that is now starting to get some shooting back with Sourlis rounding back into form as well.

"I think we're in a really good place right now," Sourlis said. "We're ranked third in the Shore and we have a chance to go out every day and prove we belong there. I'm looking forward to the challenge of playing at Manasquan against a really good, really well-coached team. It's always a battle against those guys so we'll have to be ready to battle like we did tonight."

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Battles, But Can’t Overcome Injuries, Roselle Catholic

With two starters down due to injury Wednesday night, the Ranney boys basketball team's prospects of beating the No. 1 team in the state were remote at best.

If anyone in Ranney's program knows something about staring down impossible odds and fighting anyway, it is junior center Chris Autino. The 6-foot-7 junior was forced into the starting lineup because of the injuries, played an inspired first quarter and continued fighting against Roselle Catholic's towering front line throughout the rest of the game.

"Chris has been playing meaningful minutes for for three years now," Ranney coach Tahj Holden said. "Sometimes his efforts get overshadowed having Scottie and Bryan (Antoine) and then bringing in Ahmadu and Savior (Akuwovo), but he's always given me his best and the effort he has put in hasn't gone unnoticed by the coaches and his teammates."

On top of the injury to Lewis, Klatsky suffered a concussion in a win over Keansburg last week and junior Mike Dettro - who had emerged as the team's sixth man with both Sarnor and Lewis out - suffered a broken clavicle in a win over Keyport on Monday.

With three contributors out on Wednesday, senior Dylan Barbanel earned his first start and senior Kiran Shah saw important minutes as well.

"I didn't ask them to do anything they aren't capable of doing," Holden said of Barbanel and Shah. "They didn't need to go behind the back, through the legs and finish over Naz Reid. It's hard for a five-star recruit to do that.

"We know what they can do - they can knock down shots, hustle, get back on defense. They do those things, so I just asked them to do that and nothing more."

With Autino providing some early energy, Ranney jumped out to leads of 6-0 and 12-7 on the No. 1 team in the state, according to NJ.com. The teams were tied, 13-13, after one quarter.

R a n n e y ’s A h m a d u S a r n o r d r i v e s o n R o s e l l e C a t h o l i c ’s N a z R e i d

Despite the opponent and the venue, Autino's effort had little to do with basketball.

Wednesday's Jersey Shore Challenge doubled as a high-profile showcase event as well as a fundraiser for the Joan Dancy and PALS Foundation, which champions a cause that hits close to home for Autino.

Sarnor and fellow junior Bryan Antoine each scored 18 points to carry the lion's share of the scoring load for Ranney. With Lewis out of the lineup, Roselle Catholic focused its defensive attention on Antoine and held him to 4for-16 shooting from the field. Sarnor was named Ranney's MVP of the game.

Reid finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, including the 1,000th point of his high school career on a one-handed slam with two minutes left in the third quarter. Wednesday was a big day for Reid, an Asbury Park native who was presented with his McDonald's All-American jersey earlier in the day.

Joan Dancy and PALS (People with ALS) helps provide people affected by ALS - also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease - with a higher quality of life for them and their families.

Senior guard and Delaware recruit Ithiel Horton scored a game-high 19 points to lead Roselle Catholic and picked up MVP honors, while junior Kahlil Whitley added 17 points and six rebounds. Six-foot-8 senior Alanzo Frink added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Lions.

People with ALS typically live only two-to-five years from the time they are diagnosed, but Autino learned the importance of not only living through the adversity of the disease, but also continuing to work on behalf of those who are still affected and will be affected by it.

Wednesday's loss was a tough pill for Ranney to swallow - the Panthers had a chance to potentially move into the top spot in the statewide rankings with a win, but could not field a complete team.

"The foundation takes care of a lot of patients from all over the Jersey Shore area," Autino said. "It was just a pleasure to play for the people that helped me and my family when we were going through a tough time."

At the end of the summer, Autino helped organize a three-on-three tournament at Rumson's Victory Park to raise money for Joan Dancy and PALS and his experience with the foundation made it the ideal beneficiary of Wednesday's ticket sales.

While Autino's work off the court has worked toward helping those stilling fighting ALS, his play on the court is all for his mother. The junior played a particularly inspired first quarter, during which he scored all four of his points. Autino finished with four points, eight rebounds and three assists before fouling out and often found himself guarding Roselle Catholic senior and 6-10 LSU commit Naz Reid.

"I always play for my mother," Autino said. "With the fundraiser today, knowing we were playing for the people who helped her out, it definitely gave me a little extra in the tank."

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In recent weeks, Autino has found himself back in a starting role due to a number of absences by Ranney starters. Junior Ahmadu Sarnor had to sit two games after being ejected from a win over Mater Dei and on the same day in which Sarnor returned to the lineup, Lewis went down with an ankle injury that has forced him to miss the team's last five games.

The final score of Wednesday's 75-50 loss to Roselle Catholic in the Jersey Shore Challenge on the campus of Brookdale Community College might suggest that on this particular night - with juniors Scottie Lewis and Alex Klatsky out of the lineup - the Panthers were a lost cause from the beginning.

Autino's mother, Theresa Autino, lost two-and-a-half-year battle with ALS last May.

MVP award was presented by Bobby Smith from RYPT to RBC’s Charlie Gordinier & RFH’s Jackson McCarthy

Autino was part of Ranney's heralded freshman class of 2015-16 and as a starter for the Panthers in each of the past two seasons. With the addition of 68 St. Anthony transfer Savior Akuwovo, he began this season as the team's sixth man.

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Holden said Lewis and Klatsky will remain day-to-day heading into the end of the week and as Monday's rematch with Shore Conference Class B Central rival Mater Dei approaches.

Although it is a missed opportunity for now, the team hopes the effort in the face of the injuries will benefit them in the postseason.

As far as Autino is concerned, it's always worth putting in the effort.

"We we down three guys, so we knew it was going to be a battle," Autino said. "It was going to be a battle no matter how many guys were hurt, so we just had to fight and grind it out.

"Now we have to go kill February. It just gives us extra motivation from here on out."

MVP award was presented by Pat Livesey & Bobby Smith from RYPT to Ranney’s Ahmadu Sarnor


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Matt Manley

- Senior Staff writer

h r o u g h o ut t h e 2 0 1 8 s e a s o n , J e r s e y M i k e ’ s & S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k w i l l s e l e c t a T e a m o f th e W e e k b a s e d o n t h e i r p e r f o r m a n c e o v e r th e p a s t w e e k e n d During last week's action, the Caseys had a week they would like to bottle up and stash for the start of the postseason. For now, they will settle on being named the fifth Jersey Mike's Team of the Week during the 2017-18 boys basketball season. In two prior meetings between the teams, Manasquan beat Red Bank Catholic by double-digits both times - once in Red Bank and another on a neutral floor at the WOBM Christmas Classic. On Jan. 23, RBC traveled south to Manasquan and made the third time a charm by beating the Warriors, 57-53. RBC then came back home on Jan. 25 and beat Wall, 56-47, to cap the 2-0 week and push the Caseys up another spot in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, going from No. 10 up to No. 9.

Week-5

Red Bank Catholic

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ife in the Shore Conference Class B North division can be be both exhilarating and cruel and the Red Bank Catholic boys basketball team - like just about every other team in the division - has been on either end of that spectrum over the course of the 20I7-I8 season. In a tie game with 19 seconds left at Saturday’s Coaches vs. Cancer Event at the Bayville High School, Central went from having to stop Point Pleasant Beach – the No. 6 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 at the time – from scoring the winning basket to racing down court for their own game-winner just before the buzzer.

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i ke Cl e m e n t e , J r . co n si d e r s hi m se l f a hi ghenergy person and from the time he took the Central Regional boys basketball head coaching job – his first heading coaching position and the one his father, Mike Sr., held for three decades – he wanted that energy to rub off on his team.

Over the last two weeks, the Golden Eagles have taken on the personality of their head coach by undergoing a transformation born of resilience and relentlessness that has only a little to do with basketball. Clemente, Jr. is currently in remission after undergoing a harrowing bout with Mediastinal Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a relatively rare form of cancer that Clemente was diagnosed with late in the summer of 2017. He got the good news that he was cancerfree just prior to Christmas and only last week, he found himself feeling like his old self again. “About a week or so ago, I got home from practice and I said to my wife (Allison Clemente), ‘I finally feel like myself again,’” Clemente said. “I like to have really high-energy practices and when I was going through treatment, it was hard to be the same guy that I usually am at practice. I’m still not all the way back, but it’s much better than it was in November.” Central’s resurgence last week is about a lot more than basketball and their selection as the Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week is as well. After starting the season 2-9 and struggling to find its identity with an entirely new lineup and a head coach who could only give so much time and energy while enduring his own fight away from the court, the Golden Eagles began to take flight last week with a win over Lacey and a double-overtime loss to a 10-win Brick squad before its biggest win on Saturday.

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Like their coach, the Golden Eagles players picked up a big win with a little extra determination and good fortune, with junior Walter Maldonado playing the starring role on the last play. The junior guard picked off a pass in the back court and scored the winning basket with one second left on the clock.“The thing that’s really stood out to me about this group is they have refused to feel sorry for themselves,” Clemente said. “They practice tough, they have a great attitude and now, you can start to see them coming together as a team. “It’s a different mindset. At the beginning of the year, they didn’t expect to win games. Now, they are going into every game knowing how we want to play and with the confidence that they’ll be able to compete and win." As great as that win was for Clemente and his program, it paled in comparison to the outpouring of support the community showed for the Coaches vs. Cancer event and the fundraising numbers at the end of the night carried even more weight than the 46-44 final score. Clemente said his mother, Maureen Clemente, told him she wanted the even to bring in $10,000, a goal her son thought was overly ambitious. According to Clemente, by the end of the night, the event had rained more than $18,000, nearly doubling the target. “The only word that I think can describe the support we had for the event is overwhelming,” Clemente said. “So many different people from the community offered their support, whether it was volunteers, businesses or just people coming out to watch the games. We had individual people making donations of $50, $100 – it was incredible to see how much people were willing to help.” Saturday’s five-game lineup marked the second time Central has hosted a boys basketball benefit showcase and the first time it was affiliated with Coaches vs. Cancer. Last year, the money raised at the event went directly toward a local family dealing with pediatric cancer, but with more time to develop the fundraiser over the summer, Clemente and athletic director John Scran broadened the scope.

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B North jumped up and bit the Caseys during this week, with Ocean beating RBC in overtime to complete a regular-season sweep in the head-to-head series between the divisional foes. The loss came a day after RBC battle No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven to a 4742 loss at the Jersey Shore Challenge at Brookdale. The Caseys will finish the regular season with divisional games at Middletown South and Long Branch before hosting Christian Brothers Academy on Feb. 10 in the final game before the Shore Conference Tournament for both teams. “My family and my college coach really instilled in me that what you do away from the court is more important than what you do on it,” said Clemente, who played for coach Jim Walker at Moravian College after scoring 1,098 points during his career at Central. “Right after I got hired, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to really plan out the event last year and it still turned out to be pretty successful. This last summer, I sat down with John Scran and we decided to go with Coaches vs. Cancer, which has done great work over the years. About a month later, I got my diagnosis.” The $18,000 raised will go to the Monmouth Medical Center Cancer Services Program, which helped Clemente during his fight with the disease. “I was in the hospital almost every day and one thing that stuck out to me was just how many sick people there are and how many different kinds of people are affected,” Clemente said. “There are people of all ages and all backgrounds going through their own fight and the people who work at Monmouth and other places like it do an incredible job of providing help and support to so many people who need it.” On the court, Central has gone from an inexperienced team with no starters and very little scoring back from a 22-win team a year ago in Clemente’s first season to one that has been competitive over the last week with a handful of emerging offensive threats. Junior Darius Martorano has taken on the role of leading scorer and threat on the wing, while senior Tom Ruscitti has continued his progression from a non-entity offensively to a consistent double-double threat. “There was a moment at a practice when Tommy caught the ball in the high post and was looking around for somebody to pass it to,” said Clemente of Ruscitti – a three-sport athlete who is committed to play baseball at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was also an All-Shore goalkeeper in soccer. “I stopped everything and said, ‘Tommy, look around. All those guys you were passing it to last year – they are gone. It’s time to start looking at the basket.’ “The great thing about Tommy and Darius and a lot of the guys on the team is they have made themselves into basketball players. Basketball is probably Tommy’s third sport and Darius has football, but they have put the work in to become better basketball players, which says a lot about their character and how competitive they are.” In addition to Martorano, Ruscitti and Maldonado, senior Xavier Jackson, junior Nick Altieri and freshman Marvin Goodwine, Jr. have all had their moments during Central’s development early in the season. With only Ruscitti and Jackson graduating after this year and 6-foot-7 freshman Kyle Rhoden transferring to Central after spending the first part of this year at Rutgers Prep, the Golden Eagles are

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shaping up to be a program on the rise. Rhoden's older brother, Jaden, was a first-team All-Shore guard for Toms River North as a senior last year. Just like Clemente’s team, there is work to be done in making sure the coach stays cancer-free, but the outlook at the moment is positive. According to Clemente, he has to undergo a full body scan every three months – a proactive plan to not only make sure the cancer does not return but to catch anything early enough that Clemente does not have to undergo radiation treatment. His first ordeal involved the removal of a large tumor near his heart and the goal of his doctors is to avoid such treatment when the potential of a tumor located near the heart exists. Clemente’s life is more complicated now than it was a year ago, but it has given him a simpler day-to-day outlook. If his team’s performance last week is any indication, they are, like their coach, ready to take on the road ahead as well. “Whatever it takes to bring attention to the disease and the people affected by it, I want to be a part of it,” Clemente said. “It’s been a really tough stretch for me and my family, but seeing all the support from everyone has kept me going forward. My goal from the beginning was to get back to coaching the team and I couldn’t have done it without all of that support from my family and all the people from the school and the community that supported me as well.”

Week Three

Christian Brothers Academy

Week Two

Rumson Fair Haven

Week One

Manasquan


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Matt Manley

- Senior Staff writer

very week this regular season, Shore Conference Basketball fans will have their chance to vote for the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey/Shore Sports Network basketball Player of the Week on our website.

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wo years ago, Anthony Argondizza was a sophomore in a rebuilding phase at B r i c k M e m o r i a l t h a t s e e m e d a l o n g w a y f r o m a p a y o f f . N o w a s a s e n i o r, Argondizza is a leader on a Mustangs team on the verge of returning to the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments. Brick Memorial closed out last week with a loss to Donovan Ca tholic, but handled its business in two divisional games against tough opponents earlier in the week. Argondizza was right in the middle of things throughout tha t stretch and his best performance came in another big Mustangs win over rival Brick. Argondizza scored a team-high 21 points to help his team deal the Green Dra gons a season sweep - both of which came down the wire. He also scored 10 in a win over Central and 14 in the loss to the Griffins. Argondizza won this week's Player of the Week vote with nearly 61 percent of the more than 6,000 votes cast. That comfortably beat out Donovan Catholic junior Phil Week-6 I/26/i8 Mylod, who finished W e e k - 5 I/20/i8 Brick Memoorial Sr. second a t just under 30 Holmdel So. percent.

Anthony Argondizza

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Week-4 I/I4/i8 Southeren Jr.

Vinnie Deck

Week-3 I/8/i8 St. John Vianney Sr.

Chris Mikos

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TR North. Jr.

M a rk M o g ar t e W e e k - I I2/25/i8

Lacey. Jr.

Ca r l S wens en


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By Bob Badders – Managing Editor

very week this season, Shore Conference wrestling fans will have their chance to vote for the Big Frog Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week on our website

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he winner of the Week 5 (Jan. 22 - Jan. 28) readers' vote for the Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week is Long Branch senior Pete Wersinger, who captured the 195-pound title at the inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships to become one of 14 SCT champs. Wersinger was the top seed and came out on top in a balanced field that featured three state qualifiers - himself along with Freehold Township's Eric Quartey and St. John Vianney's Josiah Walker. He won by fall over Point Beach's Liam Buday in 3:07 in the prequarterfinals and then won by 17-2 technical fall over Lakewood's Dante Morris in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Wersinger edged Point Boro's Billy Borowsky, 4-3, to reach the championship bout against Quartey. A pair of takedowns was enough for Wersinger to win the battle of state tournament qualifiers, 5-3, and capture the SCT 195-pound championship.

Week-5 I/22 - I/28 Long Brnch Sr.

Wersinger is currently 25-3 on the season to give him 92 career victories. Last season he finished third in the NJSIAA District 23 Tournament, third in Region 6 and reached the second round of wrestlebacks at the state tournament. He is a major reason why Long Branch claimed the outright Class B North division title this season and is the No. 1 seed for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV sectional tournament. The Green Wave are looking to win their sixth sectional title and first since 2013 in a field that includes Shore teams Jackson Memorial, Brick Memorial, Colts Neck and Middletown South.

Pete Wersinger

We r s i n g e r w o n t h e f a n v o t e w i t h 5 0 . 3 7 p e r c e n t o f t h e v o t e s t o b e a t o u t L a c e y ' s H u n t e r Gutierrez. Wall's Rob Kanniard had a dominant SCT, including his 100th career win, but was a distant third in the voting.

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he winner of the Week 4 (Jan. 15 - Jan. 21) readers' vote for the Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week is Manalapan junior Paul Santomarco, who posted a 3-0 record that included two first-period falls and a win over a state qualifier to help the Braves run their season record to 15-2. In a match against Bordentown, Santomarco, who was a District 21 champion and fifth in the Region 6 Tournament, scored his best victory of the season when he defeated state qualifier Billy Moore, 8-5, during a Southern So. Manalapan Jr. 38-27 Manalapan win. His other two wins came so fast that a quick glance away from the mat could have caused you to miss them. He pinned Absegami's Jordan Marcucci in 17 seconds during a 62-14 Manalapan victory and Howell So. then pinned Lacey's Adam Krinic in 27 seconds to help the Braves to a 42-21 win.

W e e k - 4 I/I5 - I/2I

Paul Santomarco

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Ben LoParo

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Shane Reitsma

Although it wasn't part of his resume for the voting period, Santomarco continued his strong wrestling with a 5-4 win in double overtime over Ocean's Jack Nies that helped the Braves knock off the 10th-ranked Spartans, 37-23.

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Santomarco won the poll with 57.19 percent of the vote to win over St. John Vianney's Paul Liseno and Southern's Nick Pepe.

Riley Cheong

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By Bob Badders – Managing Editor

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acey, Howell, SJV Crown Multiple Champions at Inaugural Shore Conference Individual Champoinships

Hunter Gutierrez was already looking forward to the Shore Conference Tournament as a chance to get back to the form that enabled him to place fifth at last season’s NJSIAA Championships, but when the Lacey junior saw his surprisingly-low seed it gave him even more motivation to run through the 113-pound bracket. “Yeah, that was definitely the biggest thing,” Gutierrez said. “Getting the No. 5 seed definitely lit a fire under my butt. I wanted to go out and make a statement.”

Gutierrez rolled to the 113-pound title during the inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships at Red Bank Regional High School, winning by bonus points in all four of his bouts and ultimately defeating Long Branch sophomore Ryan Zimmerman by 8-0 major decision in the championship bout.

“This year I felt I fell off a little bit,” Gutierrez said. “I didn’t really get off to a great start and was out a lot. This was just a good chance to get my name out there.” The seeding process for the SCT used the NJSIAA’s quality points and prestige points, plus head-tohead results, to seed the tournament and did not otherwise factor in prior state advancement. That meant Gutierrez, who had just 11 bouts of record prior to the seeding meeting, fell to the Lacey’s Hunter Gutierrez No. 5 seed. In the end, it didn’t matter where Gutierrez was placed. He won by technical fall over Manalapan’s Colby Glusko in the pre-quarterfinals, pinned Barnegat state qualifier Sean Foley in the quarterfinals and needed just one minute to pin the No. 1 seed, Point Boro’s Ben Sabo, in the semifinals.

II3 champion

“I’m definitely hitting my stride,” Gutierrez said. “My weight is good and not an issue and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season and making some noise in (Atlantic City). I think I’m one of the top kids in the state.”

I45 champion

Lacey’s Luke Gauthier

Lacey was of three teams to have multiple champions as senior Luke Gauthier joined Gutierrez as an SCT champion with a thrilling victory at 145 pounds. Going up against fellow state qualifier Jack Kelly from Wall, Gauthier locked in a cradle off a scramble to stun Kelly with 13 seconds left in the first period.

“He shot in on my leg and I started coming around the side. At first, I was looking for a near-side cradle but then his other leg stepped up and I just threw the far side and locked it in,” Gauthier said. “I had the death grip on it and just rolled it through.”

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and junior Darby Diedrich claimed the 120-pound title. Slendorn, the 126-pound state runner-up last season, defeated Raritan’s Russell Benson, 4-2, in the championship bout. Slendorn was dominant in his run to the title with three falls prior to the win over Benson. During the tournament, Slendorn passed Zac Cunliffe to become Howell’s all-time wins leader with 141 and counting. Depending on Howell’s run in the NJSIAA Team Tournament and how far Slendorn goes in the individual postseason he has a chance to break the Shore Conference record for career wins of 158 by Raritan’s Dan Seidenberg.

I38 champion

Ocean’s Jake Benner

Diedrich, the state seventh-place finisher at 120 pounds last season, picked up career win No. 100 during the

quarterfinals and rolled to the 126-pound title with four bonus-point victories. He won by 22-7 technical fall in 4:43 over Colts Neck’s Dyon Womack in the championship bout. Gauthier entered the tournament undefeated while Kelly had been piling up points with multiple 20-point bouts and suffered his only loss to Ocean’s Jake Benner, the reigning 138-pound state champion. Kelly was ranked in the state top eight at 145 pounds by NJ.com, and by pinning him Gauthier announced to the state he is among the best in New Jersey. “I’ve been trying to make a name for myself this year but I really don’t pay attention to the rankings much,” Gauthier said. “I never really cared. Whenever I step on that line I just do everything I can to win.”

The new Shore Conference Tournament in the individual form is the same as when the NJSIAA Region 6 Tournament was comprised entirely of Shore Conference Teams, which it was from 1992 to 2016, and in both Gutierrez and Gauthier are the first pair of Lacey teammates to win titles in the same season. John and Bryan Stout both won Region 6 titles in 1990, but at the time the Shore was spread out throughout multiple regions.

At 138 pounds, Benner was tested briefly by Donovan Catholic’s Cristiaan Dailey in the semifinals but still cruised to the SCT title with two pins and two major decisions. After beating Dailey, 10-2, in the semis he shut out Howell’s Dan Esposito, 12-0, in the final. Dailey finished third at 138 pounds with a 2-1 win over Toms River North’s Nick Boggiano to record his 100th career win and become the first Donovan Catholic wrestler to reach 100 wins.

“I know the Shore Conference is very respected around the state and to be a Shore Conference champion really is a great feeling,” Gauthier said.

Howell also had two champions crowned as senior Kyle Slendorn won the 132-pound championship

I32 champion

Howell’s Kyle Slendorn

See

Making History p a g e

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Making History

Continued from page 13

I 8 2 champion

Middletown North’s Nicko Cofone

I60 champion

Wall’s Rob Kanniard Wall junior Rob Kanniard also had a dominant showing in winning the 160-pound SCT championship. The fourth-place finisher in the state at 152 pounds last season who is currently ranked No. 2 in the state and among the top 20 in the U.S., Kanniard had two first-period pins, a technical fall and finally a pin over Raritan’s Anthony Aquilano in the championship bout. Kanniard also recorded his 100th career victory during the tournament.

Middletown North senior Nicko Cofone used a second-period escape and a rideout in the third period to top Howell’s Christian Murphy, 1-0, and win the 182-pound SCT title. A top-12 finisher at the state tournament last season, Cofone won by fall in the quarterfinals and topped Raritan’s George Burdick, 8-4, in the semifinals. Long Branch senior Pete Wersinger came out on top in a balanced 195-pound weight class via a 5-3 victory over Freehold Township’s Eric Quartey. Wersinger edged Point Boro’s Billy Borowsky, 43, in the semifinals and won by fall and technical fall, respectively, in his first two bouts.

I 9 5 champion

I20 champion

Christian Brothers Academy senior Rich Koehler claimed the 120-pound SCT title with an 8-6 victory over St. John Vianney’s Tyler Pepe in a back-and-forth bout. Pepe led early, but Koehler rallied for the win with a third-period takedown. Koehler, who is a threetime state qualifier, two-time Region 6 champion, and a state medalist (2015), won by fall in his three previous bouts.

Long Branch’s Pete Wersinger

CBA’s Rich Koehler

Toms River South senior Cole Corrigan defeated Middletown North’s Stanley Wojdylak, 7-1, to win the 152pound title. Corrigan won by technical fall over Long Branch’s Luke Arnold in the quarterfinals and beat Point Boro’s Francis Marshall, 9-2, in the semifinals.

I 7 0 champion

I 0 6 champion

SJV’s dean Peterson

I52 champion

2 8 5 champion

TR South’s Cole Corrigan

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St. John Vianney won the team title with four champions SJV’s Nick Caracappa as freshman Dean Peterson (106), seniors Nick Caracappa (170) and Steven Giannios (220) and junior Paul Liseno (285) led the way with individual titles.

SJV’s Paul Liseno

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2 2 0 champion

SJV’s Steven Giannios


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Jack Velcamp Gets Long-Awaited One Shining Moment in Rumson Win By

Matt Manley

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f all the activities for a fifth-grader living with dwarfism to be drawn to, basketball might not be the m o st lo g i ca l m a t c h . Watching his hometown high school basketball team, however, opened up Jack Velcamp’s mind to the possibilities. On Thursday night, the possibilities became a reality for the 4-foot-2 RumsonFair Haven senior who spent eight years as the varsity basketball manager in pursuit of his dream with the help of a community that made sure he got a chance to live it. For the first time during his eight-year association with the program, Velcamp got to fulfill his childhood dream of suiting up as a member of the varsity squad at Rumson-Fair Haven and hearing his name announced as a starter in front of a capacity ground – a majority of which was there to salute him. If the pregame speech from coach Chris Champeau praising Velcamp and the pregame introduction were not overwhelming enough, Velcamp got to take the floor with the starting lineups and take a crack at scoring a varsity basket. Velcamp’s first few shots missed the mark, but perseverance was never a problem for him. He kept firing and at the midway point of the quarter, he drove into the lane and banked home one of the more awe-inspiring first-quarter layups since Dr. James Naismith thought to throw a ball up into a peach basket. “Throughout these eight years, I’ve been through so many teams, so many athletes and I’ve learned so much,” Velcamp said. “I applied everything I learned in the game tonight.” After the ball dropped through the basket, the Rumson players cleared the bench to mob Velcamp in celebration and the group lifted him over their heads as the “Dawgpound” student section let out a roar. “This group in general, I know we’re all seniors, but we have such a tight bond and that’s what makes this special,” Velcamp said. “I wouldn’t want to do this with anybody else except them. They held me up. They’ve loved me. It’s insane. “I love coach (Champeau) because he gave me an opportunity to play tonight. My family has been through a lot helping me, my brother (P.J.), especially. He has been helping me train ever since I found out I would start this game. It’s insane, but it’s really special.” Following the game, Velcamp was humbled by the outpouring of support and even self-deprecating over how many shots it took him to score his first varsity basket. It’s not like it’s his first time playing, after all: away from his high school team, Velcamp was a member of Team U.S.A at the 2017 World Dwarf Games in Canada. He even earned his nickname, the Hammer, thanks to his prowess on the court. “Originally, he wore a velvet outfit and I called him ‘Jackie Velvet,’” said Champeau, who prides himself on coming up with nicknames for each of his many

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- Senior Staff writer the best coach in the Shore. We had discussions about what it meant to the kid and he said, ‘Whatever you guys need, we’ll do.’

players. “That just never caught on. Then one time I saw him trying to literally hammer a shot down – he was trying to block a shot when I went to watch him play in one of his rec games. I said, ‘Whoa…that’s the Hammer right there.’

“They were so gracious and so nice and they actually played. They put up shots and defended, so I can’t say enough about Holmdel.”

“I said to him, ‘Dude, do you like the nickname ‘The Hammer?’ He goes (nodding subtly), ‘Yeah.’ So that was it. He became the Hammer.”

Devaney is one of the Shore’s most accomplished coaches, having led Raritan to both the Shore Conference Tournament championship and the Tournament of Champions in the mid2000’s before building a blue-collar program at Holmdel. Widely known by his peers as an “oldschool” coach, Devaney and his team were glad to be part of a special moment and dug their heels in and played hard when it was time.

If there is one thing Jack Velcamp could always relate to, it is a good underdog story, so it is no wonder he was drawn to the Rumson-Fair Haven boys basketball team at a young age. Among the first teams Velcamp caught a glimpse of was the 2010-11 team that made a Cinderella run to the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals led by 5-foot-5 point guard Kevin Alter. Alter personified that Rumson team and so many that have played together since – tough, gritty, defiant and bigger of mind and heart than in stature. Rumson has been at its best over the past eight years in that underdog role.

Ultimately, Rumson won the game, 63-50, for its 12th consecutive win. The Bulldogs hope to be in the middle of a special season, but it will be hard for any win to be as emotional as the basket their longtime manager dropped in during the first quarter of his Senior Night game.

“It’s been a fun ride, but it’s been a fast one too,” Velcamp said. “I still remember me and my brother standing next to the doors, cheering on everybody. We were close (to the team) in a way that everybody loved us, but now we understand the game, we understand each other as teammates. It’s very special.”

“Even for (Holmdel), to be a part of that, those kids will never forget it,” Champeau said. “That’s something they’ll tell their grandkids. It’s a lesson in perseverance. The kid has never given up and to do that in front of his family and the whole town – awesome.”

Moreover, Champeau has been adamant about maintaining a sense of community within his program, making sure every member of the team at every level feels like part of the team’s success – of which it has had a lot in Champeau’s nine seasons. Velcamp might have gotten his first chance to score a basket on Thursday night, but he has felt like part of the Rumson basketball family from the time Champeau brought him aboard as a manager. “I interact with the guys when I’m in the front of the bench (as manager), but it was a lot more special tonight because I got to be an actual player with them,” Velcamp said. “They are my teammates and I got to hang out with my teammates for a game.” Champeau and Velcamp drew up the plans for Senior Night early on in the season and decided that rather than wait until the end of the game to get some of the sentimental favorite into the game, why not give Velcamp the starter’s treatment? With the help of starter senior guard Teddy Sourlis and his video editing skills, the team posted a hype video in advance of Senior Night. “All this week, I did my school work, but I couldn’t focus,” Velcamp said. “I’m sad that it’s over, but I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way. Thanks to this crowd, the parents, to Holmdel. They put up with 15 minutes of (Champeau) talking and five minutes out of the game just to let me get one shot.” It turned out to be an unforgettable night not only for Velcamp, but also the rest of the crowd in attendance, including the opposing team. Holmdel is fighting for a spot in the Shore Conference Tournament, but head coach Sean Devaney agreed his team would be a willing party to Velcamp’s special night when his friend coaching rival Champaeu pitched the idea to him well in advance. “One of the reasons I wanted this to be the game is because Sean’s a firstclass-act,” Champeau said. “I think he’s

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Photos by:

Rob Samuels: www.boofacephotography.com


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SJV Wins First Team Title at Inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships

By Bob Badders – Managing Editorr

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it h t h e e y e s o f t h e S h o r e Conference upon it, St. John V ia n n e y s h o w e d e v e r y o n e w h a t i t s wrestling progra m has become by a dd in g to a n a l r e ad y u n p r e c e d e n t e d s e as o n .

Giannios claimed the 220-pound SCT championship in one of the most exciting bouts of the finals, defeating Donovan Catholic’s Sal DiSalvo, 4-2, in sudden victory. Leading 2-1 after the first period, Giannios had to adjust his strategy after DiSalvo rode him out in the second period and then escaped in the third to tie the bout at two. “He rode me out and that was kind of surprising, but I knew I needed to get a takedown and needed to do it for my team and my coaches,” Giannios said. “I felt going to the third period I needed to keep pushing the pace, and I knew I could get it.”

With four champions, one runner-up and two third-place finishers the Lancers outpointed Howell, 165.6-151.5, to win the team title at the inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships on Saturday at Red Bank Regional High School. Freshman Dean Peterson (106), seniors Nick Caracappa (170) and Steven Giannios (220) and junior Paul Liseno (285) were among the 14 wrestlers who became the first individual SCT wrestling champions, while sophomore Tyler Pepe was second at 120 pounds and seniors Charles Peterson (132) and Josiah Walker (195) were victorious in their third-place bouts.

It looked like DiSalvo was going to be the one to win in thrilling fashion, however, when he countered a shot by Giannios and looked to score on a go-behind. Giannios countered with a whizzer and got to his feet before the two rolled to the mat. Giannios came out on top in the brief scramble to secure the takedown and the SCT championship.

“I knew people were going to be looking at us because we’re unproven to a lot of people,” said St. John Vianney head coach Denny D’Andrea. “I told our kids every time people here “now wrestling for St. John Vianney…” they’re going to look up to see who we are and what we can do.”

Two bouts earlier Caracappa defeated Rumson-Fair Haven junior Nick Addison, 81, to take the 170-pound SCT title. Leading 3-1 in the second period, Caracappa put Addison to his back with a five-point move that opened up a big lead and put the match away. Addison was coming in confident after taking out the No. 1 seed, Howell’s Shane Reitsma, 6-4, in the semifinals.

D’Andrea is the first head coach to win the Shore Conference Tournament with two different schools. He led Manalapan to the SCT titles in 1981 and 1982 and was also a longtime assistant at Brick Memorial where the Mustangs captured 15 SCT titles during the dual-meet tournament format. “It’s the best,” Giannios said. “At the beginning of the year, we knew we had something special and the whole past week of practices our coaches kept telling us we could win this thing. We have the firepower to beat just about anybody. Everybody works so hard and pushes each other and that’s the main reason for our success.”

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“I was thinking I can’t give this up,” Giannios said. “He wasn’t going to go down without fighting,” D’Andrea said.

At 106 pounds Peterson remained undefeated with a 10-3 victory over Brick Memorial freshman Vincent Santaniello. Peterson was not tested all tournament as he recorded a technical fall and two major decisions leading up to the final before putting away Santaniello for the second time this season. Liseno also dominated in his run to the heavyweight SCT title with three wins by fall. He was leading Long Branch’s Kevin Cerutti in the second period before Cerutti tweaked his left knee on a mat return and had to injury default at 2:03 of the bout. At 120 pounds, Pepe lost an 8-6 decision to Christian Brothers Academy senior

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Rich Koehler in one of the best bouts of the finals. The lead changed several times before Koehler’s takedown in the third period provided the winning score. Pepe was set to face Colts Neck’s Joey King in the semifinals but King had to withdraw from the tournament with an illness, giving Pepe the spot in the championship bout. With the tournament featuring no wrestlebacks other than the third-place bout for the two wrestlers who lose in the semifinals, reaching the final four was huge as far as accumulating team points. Charles Peterson held his seed by defeating Toms River North’s Jack Oleske, 9-2, in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 1 seed and eventual champion Kyle Slendorn in the semifinals. Peterson rebounded with an 8-7 win over Lacey’s Luke Moynihan to place third. Walker did the same but had to come from the No. 7 seed at 195 pounds. He defeated Howell’s Rashaun Hansford, 11-6, in the quarterfinals but fell to Freehold Township’s Eric Quartey, 6-5 in ultimate tiebreaker, in the semifinals. He finished third with a 6-4 victory over Point Boro’s Billy Borowsky. “I’m proud of my kids, they wrestled very tough in this tournament,” said St. John Vianney head coach Denny D’Andrea. “And the camaraderie of these kids..there’s a lot more to coaching than just getting them tough. They have to want to be here, want to do it for their teammates, for themselves, for their parents, for their friends, and that’s what we’ve gotten into them.”


Six Storylines to Follow in the NJSIAA Team Tournament

By Bob Badders – Managing Editorr

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Long Branch, Jackson and No. 3 seed Brick Memorial are Shore Conference royalty with a combined 29 sectional titles. This year’s version of Jackson and Brick Memorial aren’t vintage teams, however, while Long Branch is ranked in the state top 20. The Green Wave would also lover to exact some revenge on Jackson after losing to the Jaguars, 26-25, in last season’s final and falling, 28-24, in 2016.

There are favorites in every bracket, a ton of longshots and even more teams that fall somewhere in between. The wrestling team state tournament is not one that is overly dramatic in the first two rounds, so the expectation remains to see the top teams standing on Friday and then again on Sunday. The Shore Conference has 13 teams seeded either first or second in their respective sections, including No. 1 seeds Middletown North, Long Branch, Raritan, Point Beach, Southern, Point Boro and Donovan Catholic, so the Shore should be well-represented on Sunday on the campus of Toms River High School North.

to out-point the Terriers and get the top seed, but that’s all changed this season. This time, the road to a title runs through the Launch Pad.

he NJSIAA Team Tournament is underway and 18 Shore Conference Teams ar e still alive on th eir Jackson will also have a tough matchup with Brick Memorial in the semifinals assuming the seeds hold up. The Jaguars q u e s t t o w in a s t at e t i t l e t hi s Su n da y a t RW J B ar n ab as won the Class A South meeting during the regular season, 35-30, but that was one of the few times the Jags had their lineup this season. Since then they’ve had injuries and a wrestler quit the team, so they are a much different H e al t h A re n a. To ge t t he r e th e y ’l l h av e t o n av iga t e f iv e complete unit this time around. r o u n d s o f w r e s t l i n g ag a i n s t t h e b e s t N e w J e rs e y h a s t o o f f e r , an d in th e e n d , j u s t f i v e p u b l ic s c h oo l s an d F i n a l l y t h e N o . 1 s e e d i n C e n t r a l J e r s e y G r o u p 2 , two non-public schools will be able to call how far will Raritan go? The last three seasons Raritan has made the trek out to Frenchtown in Hunterdon County to face Delaware Valley, t h e m se l v e s s t at e c ha mp i o ns . and each time it’s been a somber bus ride back to Hazlet after a heartbreaking loss. Raritan could never find a way

Who knows what the narrative will be seven days from now, but as we get ready to begin the state tournament of wrestling’s first season here are six storylines to look out for this week.

Can Middletown North Stun Phillipsburg in North 2, Group 4? Thanks to some shrewd scheduling in the final week before the cutoff to qualify for the state tournament, Middletown North earned the top seed over defending Group IV champion Phillipsburg. Close losses to Raritan and Howell helped the Lions accrue the necessary power points to jump the Stateliners, and that means the road to a state title literally travels through Middletown. Phillipsburg is still the favorite as a top-10 team in the state, but Middletown North not having to drive to the westernmost reaches of New Jersey to wrestle in arguably the most hostile environment certainly helps its cause. Beyond the home-mat advantage, Middletown North actually matches up pretty well with Phillipsburg. The trio of Thomas O’Keefe, Tyler Klinsky and Fred Luchs from 106 to 120 will be crucial and the Lions look to have the advantage up top with Nicko Cofone (182), Jacob Anderson (195) and Austin Dewise (285). The question is how well the Lions will fare in the middle against some of Phillipsburg’s hammers, and, more specifically, what the Lions do with state qualifier Stanley Wojdylak at 152. Do they try to move him away from state medalist Brian Meyer or look for that head-to-head matchup? Of course, that’s all contingent on winning the flip and a myriad of other factors, but could certainly be a determining factor. Middletown North earning the No. 1 seed also means they avoid third-seeded North Hunterdon, which would have been a very tough out in the semifinals. Middletown North’s only sectional title came in 1996 and to get No. 2 they’ll have to defeat one of the state’s all-time great programs.

Will Howell Repeat as Group 5 champion? Long Branch, Brick Memorial and Jackson Memorial are the only Shore Conference teams to win consecutive NJSIAA championships and Howell is in a great position to join them on the Mount Rushmore of Shore Conference wrestling. Despite being the top-ranked public school in New Jersey in both of the state’s top-20 rankings, the Rebels aren’t even the top seed in their own section, so it isn’t going to be an easy journey back to the top. Barring some sort of cataclysmic upset, it’s going to be Howell heading to Flemington on Friday night to take on Hunterdon Central for the sectional championship. The Rebels beat the Red Devils in thrilling fashion, 28-27, to win last season’s Group 5 championship and the rematch has been highly anticipated. The two teams were set to wrestle as part of a quad during the regular season but Hunterdon Central, citing the fact that the teams were now aligned to the same section, canceled the matchup with the Rebels. The Hunterdon Central Field House is a difficult place to wrestle, so the Red Devils being the top seed is big. That being said, Howell looks to have the advantage at enough weights to come out on top. If the Rebels can win the sectional title and get back to the group semifinals there’s a good chance they’ll meet up with Southern at some point. The Rams are the top seed in South Jersey Group 5 and the favorite to win their 12th sectional title and reach the group stage. Howell is 27-0 and hasn’t been tested in any of its dual meet victories, but a gap in its armor was exposed a bit when St. John Vianney out-pointed the Rebels to win the team title at the Shore Conference Tournament. It was an individual tournament so it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison when looking at a dual meet, but it’s something to think about.

Is this the end of Jackson Memorial’s run in Central Jersey Group 4?

Delaware Valley is the defending Group II champion but has struggled this season after suffering several key losses to graduation and losing state champion Kyle Lightner to a season-ending injury. The Terriers are the No. 5 seed and are slated to face Raritan in the semifinals, and even though it won’t be in a sectional championship match, the Rockets will surely be amped to finally get Del Val in their own gym. Del Val won’t be intimidated by the moment and won’t be an easy out, but if Raritan can win and reach the final it will be heavily favored. Raritan already has a 58-13 win over No. 2 seed Holmdel. The Rockets’ competition will stiffen considerably at the group stage with High Point and Hanover Park likely to reach Toms River and Point Boro also in the mix as the top seed in South Jersey Group II. But for the Rockets, whose last sectional title came in 2012 - the same season they won their only NJSIAA Group II title – getting to the final Sunday is priority No. 1.

Will Point Pleasant Be “Title Town” on Friday night? Point Boro and Point Beach have three sectional titles between them, including Beach taking the last two Central Jersey Group I championships. The two programs have never won a sectional title in the same season and have likely never reached sectional championship matches in the same season. With each being the top seed in their respective sections there’s a good chance for history Friday night. After years of coming up just short, Point Beach broke through with a sectional championship in 2016 and followed it up last season with another sectional crown. The Garnet Gulls are the No. 1 seed in Central Jersey Group I and are the team to beat. The No. 2 seed is Shore Regional, which Point Beach defeated, 40-22, to win the Class B Central division title. Beach also has a 63-9 win over No. 6 seed Maple Shade and a 65-6 win over Keansburg, who it will face in the first round Monday night. Point Beach is a longshot to win all of Group I with the likes of Paulsboro and Emerson-Park Ridge figuring to vie for the title, but sectional title No. 3 is theirs for the taking. Point Boro is the No. 1 seed in South Jersey Group II and looking for its second sectional title and first since 2007 when it also won South Jersey Group II. The Panthers are battle-tested with matches against Jackson Memorial, Southern and Ocean and their grinding style and balanced lineup is made to win in the postseason. Haddonfield looks to be Point Boro’s main competition in the section and wrestled a challenging schedule that includes wins over Collingswood and Gateway, a match against Paulsboro and trip to the Virginia Duals. If Point Boro can win the section it will be part of a formidable group that will probably include Raritan, Hanover Park and High Point.

Does St. John Vianney’s banner season culminate with a sectional title? It’s been a season to remember so far for St. John Vianney with its first division title in program history, a team title at the inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships and four individual SCT champs. Now the Lancers turn their attention to bringing home the program’s first sectional title in two decades. St. John Vianney is the No. 3 seed in the Non-Public South A section and will have two tough teams to go through in order to win their first sectional championship since 1996 – No. 2 St. Augustine and No. 1 Camden Catholic – but given the firepower in their lineup, the Lancers are more than capable. Freshman sensational Dean Peterson (25-0), seniors Nick Caracappa (22-4) and Steven Giannios (24-3) and junior heavyweight Paul Liseno (22-3) all won SCT titles while sophomore Tyler Pepe (24-4) was second and seniors Charlie Peterson (22-6) and Josiah Walker (13-5) finished third. SJV is young at spots but talented with the likes of Joey Butler, Seth Rotondella, Blake Clayton and Jaden Lowe. Beyond the sectional tournament is a date with Bergen Catholic, which is arguably the No. 1 team in the nation. St. John Vianney knows it isn’t winning that matchup so as far as the Lancers are concerned their team season will be defined by whether they get to Friday night and leave Cherry Hill with a sectional championship.

Jackson Memorial is the three-time defending Central Jersey Group IV champions, but the Jaguars championship reign will be under siege this week. Long Branch is the No. 1 seed and the favorite to take home the title in a section that will almost certainly be won by a Shore Conference team for the 15th consecutive season.

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By Bob Badders – Managing Editor

hr o u gh o u t t h e 2 0 1 8 s e a s o n , S h o r e S p o r t s N e t w o r k w i l l s e l e c t t he A R M Y S t r o n g W r e s t l i ng T e a m o f t he W e e k ba s e d o n t h e i r p e r f o r m a n ce o ve r t h e p a s t w e e k e n d his normal spot at 220 pounds with the hopes of getting a win, but Liseno spoiled the plan to put the Lancers in the driver's seat. Freshman Dean Peterson then came through with a clutch pin at 113 pounds and St. John Vianney was on its way from there.

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he recipient of the Army Strong Team of the Week for the week of Jan. 15 to Jan. 21 is St. John Vianney, which defeated Raritan, 31-29, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, for one the biggest wins in program history. Shore Sports Network and Staff Sergeant Warren from the U.S. Army were at practice Tuesday to present the Lancers and head coach Denny D'Andrea with a special banner to commemorate their accomplishments. The Lancers went 3-1 during the week with their only defeat coming at the hands of Pope John, which is currently ranked No. 4 in the NJWWA Top 20. The win over Raritan on the road was huge as it put the Rockets in line to secure their first division title in program history and unseat Raritan, which had won seven straight Class A Central titles and 12 of 13 division championships since 2005. Junior Paul Liseno had a big win at heavyweight when he handed Ethan Wolf his first loss of the season, 6-4. Raritan bumped up Wolf from

The Lancers also posted wins over Don Bosco Prep (37-30) and Rumson-Fair Haven (60-15) during the week. St. John Vianney has continued to wrestle well since then, including officially clinching the outright Class A Central division title for the first time in program history. At the Shore Conference Tournament, the Lancers won the team title with four champions, one runner-up and two thirdplace finishers to top the team standings by 14 points over top-ranked Howell. Peterson (106), seniors Nick Caracappa (170) and Steven Giannios (220) and Liseno (HWT) each won SCT titles in the inaugural individual tournament while sophomore Tyler Pepe (120) was second and seniors Charlie Peterson (138) and Josiah Walker (195) took third. St. John Vianney is in the midst of an unprecedented season and still has more to accomplish. The Lancers are the No. 3 seed for the NJSIAA Non-Public South A sectional tournament and will be trying to capture their third sectional title and first since winning back-to-back South Jersey Parochial B titles in 1995 and 1996. On the individual front, the Lancers have several wrestlers who should be competing deep into the postseason. Peterson is currently 25-0 and is a contender to become St. John Vianney's first-ever state champion.

take care of business within the division. Point Boro went on to clinch the outright Class B South division title by defeating Pinelands on Jan. 29. It is the second straight division title and third in five years for the Panthers.

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he first recipient of the Army Strong Team of the Week for the week of Jan. 8 to Jan. 14 is Point Boro, which went 5-0 with a key victory over Lacey that put the Panthers in line to secure the Class B South division title. Shore Sports Network and Staff Sergeant Kevin McCurley from the U.S. Army were at practice Thursday to present the Panthers and head coach Pat Brady with a special banner to commemorate their accomplishments. The crown jewel of Point Boro's undefeated week was a 35-16 victory over Lacey in a matchup of the top two teams in Class B South. The Panthers won 10 of 14 bouts with technical falls by senior Francis Marshall at 152 and freshman Nick Torre at 106, a major decision by senior Anthony Bonavito at heavyweight and an 8-4 decision by sophomore Ty Bailey over Lacey state qualifier Luke Moynihan at 138 pounds. Point Boro also scored a 45-33 victory over a solid Colts Neck team, bested Allentown, 5122 and scored lopsided victories over Barnegat (60-8) and Manchester (71-3) to

The Panthers have enjoyed a great season so far with a 15-1 record and their only loss coming to Southern, which is ranked No. 2 in the Shore and No. 12 in New Jersey. Point Boro defeated Jackson Memorial earlier this season for its first win over the Jaguars since at least the 1980s and won team titles at the TCNJ Pride Tournament and the Watler Woods Tournament to complete a perfect first month. The Panthers then won the team title at the Elizabeth Minutemen Classic. Following the Lacey win, Point Boro also beat Point Beach, 57-6, in the schools' annual rivalry and edged Ocean, 30-27, on a walk-off pin by Marshall. Point Boro's calling card has been a balanced lineup, but they also have several individuals having great seasons. Senior Ben Sabo is 24-1 and the No. 1 seed at 113 pounds for this weekend's Shore Conference Tournament. Marshall is 22-3 at 152 pounds, junior Billy Borowsky is 23-1 at 195 pounds and Bonavito is undefeated (20-0) at 285 pounds. Point Boro is the No. 1 seed in the South Jersey Group II tournament and will try to win its second sectional title in program history and first since 2007.

SPECIAL THANK YOU to all the photographers who allow us to use their

GREAT PHOTOS

seen throughout this Issue as well as our website:

shoresportsnetwork.com

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Contact: Steven Meyer 732-233-4460

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Long Branch WindMill Hosts Shore Regional Girls Soccer Champions B y Kev in Wil liams - Shore Spo rt s Ne twork Dire ctor

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n recognition of their dedication, hard work and winning season, the entire Shore Regional High School girls soccer team was invited by WindMill owners Rena Levine-Levy and Steven Levine for a celebratory dinner to honor the 3 time Group I State Champions.

Shore Reg. Head coach George Moutis, Windmill Owner S t e ve L e v in e & A s s t C o a c h L a u r an M o r a t t a

“It just seemed they deserved a special time to relax together to celebrate their winning season,” Steven Levine said. “What better place than in our North Long Branch WindMill?

Happiness is CONGRATULATING all of this Year's Winning Teams

"We like being a part of the community, and showing our support in this way is just what comes naturally to us,” she said. “Actually, we're hoping this is the beginning of a new Steve's sister, Rena, also thought honoring the team tradition of winning for the team and for us was a great idea. hosting this lunch!"

The players, as well as their coaches, each had an opportunity to order whatever they wanted from the WindMill menu. From the looks on their faces once they ordered and began to eat, the idea really was a hit.

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2-6-18 Issue - 2 Volume X Making Wrestling History  

Shore Sports Network Journal Wrestling Inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships

2-6-18 Issue - 2 Volume X Making Wrestling History  

Shore Sports Network Journal Wrestling Inaugural Shore Conference Individual Championships